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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

Memorabilia & Ephemera

1866 Photographic Card - Messages of Queen Victoria and President Johnson

On the successful completion of the 1866 Atlantic Cable, the Queen of England and the President of the United States exchanged messages by cable, as they had first done in 1858. The Queen's message was sent from Osborne House, her summer home on the Isle of Wight, as was her previous message to a different President in 1858.

This commemorative card was issued by R. Carswell, Publisher, of 284 Yonge St., Toronto. The face of the card bears images of Queen Victoria and President Johnson linked by a stylized cable, and includes the text of their messages. The entire card was created photographically; the images and text are printed on a single sheet of photographic paper.

Osborne, July 27, 1866

To the President of the United States, Washington

The Queen congratulates the President on the successful completion of an undertaking which she hopes may serve as an additional bond of Union between the United States and England.

Executive Mansion
Washington, July 30, 1866

To Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

The President of the United States acknowledges with profound gratification the receipt of Her Majesty's despatch and cordially reciprocates the hope that the cable which now unites the Eastern and Western hemispheres may serve to strengthen and perpetuate peace and amity between the governments of England and the Republic of the United States.

(Signed) Andrew Johnson

The face of the card, which is the standard carte de visite size of 4" x 2.5"

Detail of portraits of Queen Victoria and President Johnson

Signature of the card's calligrapher:
H. Browne

Publisher's backstamp

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Last revised: 4 April, 2021

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